Despite a career-high 57 points, Utah Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell’s performance in Game 1 against the Denver Nuggets, his 8-second violation with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter has been the story following the conclusion of Denver’s 135-125 overtime victory over Utah on Monday.
While Mitchell shouldered the load offensively for the Jazz, he is now shouldering the blame for the loss, pointing to his costly mistake.
The Jazz had the ball and a four-point lead with 1:54 remaining prior to Mitchell’s mishap.
“It’s tough to lose the first game … but there’s a lot of things we could control,” Mitchell said, according to ESPN’s Tim Botemps. “I put a little bit on myself for the 8-second violation, and then they come down and hit a 3, and that really changed the entire game, that sequence right there.”
“That’s my fault as a leader and as a point guard at that time,” Mitchell said. “That’s terrible on my part.
“I kind of put that … there’s really no one else to put it on. I was just taking my time walking it up, and I’ve got to be more aware. I think that was a crucial part of the game. At the end of the day, I’m not going to put it all on that one play, but that was a crucial part.”
“Obviously, it’s a tough one to lose like this in overtime,” Mitchell said, “but there’s going to be a bunch more, and I think guys, including myself, are ready.
“We executed a lot of things right. We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and be ready.”